Is Quentin Tarantino’s adoration a good Oscar sign for ‘Toy Story 3’?

It goes without saying that Pixar’s critically acclaimed blockbuster, “Toy Story 3,” will be nominated for the best picture Oscar.  What has been generally assumed, however, is that any animated film can’t actually win the Academy’s biggest prize.  Besides the fact only two animated features have ever been nominated (“Beauty and the Beast” and “Up”), there is a longstanding belief that the majority of the actor’s branch will never vote for a film which isn’t considered live action.  And since the actors’ branch makes up the largest segment of the Academy, landing the nomination has been seen as the win…so far.  One prominent AMPAS member and Oscar winner, however, may have ended up revealing who’s getting his vote for best picture and it’s certainly not a live action flick.

Throwing caution to the wind, Quentin Tarantino announced his 20 favorite films of 2010 Sunday in a post on Tarantino Archives.  The “Inglourious Basterds” and “Pulp Fiction” auteur only commented on one of them (“Enter the Void”), but “Toy Story 3” was prominently in the top spot.  Check out the entire list below.

1. Toy Story 3
2. The Social Network
3. Animal Kingdom
4. I Am Love
5. Tangled
6. True Grit
7. The Town
8. Greenberg
9. Cyrus
10. Enter The Void (“Hands down best credit scene of the year … Maybe best credit scene of the decade. One of the greatest in cinema history.” – QT)
11. Kick Ass.

And the runners up are:

12. Knight and Day
13. Get Him To The Greek
14. The Fighter
15. The Kings Speech
16. The Kids Are All Right
17. How To Train Your Dragon
18. Robin Hood
19. Amer
20. Jackass 3-D

Some noteworthy facts from Tarantino’s selections:

– As head of the 68th Venice Film Festival Jury this past September, he didn’t include Golden Lion winner “Somewhere” from filmmaker and buddy Sofia Coppola (yes, “Robin Hood” and “Jackass 3-D” were deemed higher).  In fact, no films from this year’s festival made his list.  That means…
– Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” which was snubbed by the Venice jury, also didn’t make the cut.  Should we assume Tarantino really isn’t a fan?
– Three animated films made the list including “Tangled,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and, of course, “Toy Story 3.”  What? No “Despicable Me”?
– “Robin Hood” made the top twenty.  Yes, that “Robin Hood.” Need we say more?

Now, back to Pixar’s great hope.  With “Toy Story 3” a fixture on many top ten lists and questions remaining in voters’ minds about “The Social Network,” “The Fighter” and even potential party crasher “True Grit,” could “TS3” become the surprise alternative?  Doubtful, but if Tarantino’s picks are any indication, “Toy Story 3” seems to have a much better shot than “Up” did.

Do you think “Toy Story 3” can win best picture?  Share your thoughts below.

Follow Gregory Ellwood and Awards Campaign on Twitter @HitFixGregory

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